Measuring Tapes and Men

Measuring tape
Milwaukee Red

Measuring tapes. I’m pretty sure that I have one in every room of my house—in the end drawer, on top of shelves, in drawers, upstairs, downstairs, and in the garage and basement. We are also home to a stack of rulers, and since my sweet mom expressed shock during her June visit that we didn’t own a yard stick, we remedied that tragedy by adding a yard stick to our measuring assemblage. Levels? We are nothing if not level. Measuring cups and spoons? We have a drawer full. The saying, “Measure twice, and always measure level” rules in my house. At least, according to the boy who asked Santa for a measuring tape for his third Christmas, could calculate measurements before he could read, and hasn’t stopped measuring from that point forward.

Me? I hire people to measure for me or ask a dear friend to come for dinner—with her measuring tape. When I accepted an offer to surprise dearly departed Joe with a new refrigerator, measuring was the worst part. Without going into a lot of boring details, the surprise had to do with a husband who insisted that the seal on our 20-year-old fridge was only “slightly” broken and that the food inside was just a little iffy. My sweet mom, who experienced the fridge while visiting and was concerned about her grandson and daughter being food poisoned by iffy food, offered to invest in our health and wellbeing if I picked out the fridge and surprised Joe with it. Perhaps you suspect a little family dynamic happening here, and you’re right. However, being my sweet mother’s daughter and no dummy, I took her up on her offer and bravely measured the spot where the new fridge would replace the old fridge. I then picked out our new fridge and had nightmares while I waited for it to be delivered, certain that it would not fit into its designated spot. I pictured myself surprising Joe with the good news that we had a new fridge he wasn’t sure we needed along with the bad news that we needed to remodel the kitchen to accommodate it. It was a stressful few days. The only thing that made me feel a little better was asking my grade schooler (who I could trust to keep the surprise) to check my measurements twice. When our measurements matched, I felt better. No worries though, the fridge fit and, in time, Joe learned to love the taste of frozen ice cream. Cole was thrilled that the fridge fit perfectly with an inch to spare on either side and was level, of course.

Now that I have enthralled you with a little family history, let’s fast forward to yesterday (Tuesday, I think), when my teen stupefied me on our daily Home Depot run by saying that we needed another measuring tape. How was this even possible? We owned more measuring tapes than the helpful hardware man did!

Well, my teen explained, our tape measures are all 25 feet or less and we needed one that was at least 35 feet. But what about the concept of transferring measurements between people? I’m not a 1/4 of a cup short of a full cup. Even if I can’t measure, I know a few measuring hacks. I was told that measuring that way was for amateurs. I then wondered how many men had been strangled with tape measures by mothers or wives as my teen firmly pushed our cart towards the aisle where he met the red and black tape measure of his dreams. It was 35 feet long, with a 5-point reinforced frame (you could travel to the top of a Chicago skyscraper, drop this baby from the top floor, and be confident that it would live to measure again). It had exciting dual magnets that prevent roll off when measuring steel studs and, of course, a handy belt clip. I noticed that it matched his red tool box. Naturally, all the other measuring tapes fell short of Cole’s expectations. Milwaukee Red was checking out of Home Depot with us.

On the ride home, Cole wondered why I couldn’t measure. I was tempted to tell him but resisted.*


Odd Loves Company,


* old joke but if you don’t know it – I’ll share it with you 😀

12 thoughts on “Measuring Tapes and Men

  1. Well it is RED so I love it. We have an assortment of measuring tapes also but the one that I always seem to get my hands on is the metric one from Australia. Sigh. Why can’t we all just be on the same page when it comes to measuring?????

    • I just can’t answer that question any more than why men never have the right tool for the job despite having a garage full. It’s a mystery. A mystery.

  2. Man needs to measure. Cole picked out a dam fine measuring tape. I’ve had my Milwaukee one for years. But I might need to upgrade to a magnetic one.
    Tell Cole he has good sense when it comes to measuring. Tell him twice.

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  4. Great way to start my morning. I have no idea how many measuring tapes we have because I can never find one despite the fact that I have bought many over the years.
    I measure by eye and have learn to patch holes expertly. Best sentence in the whole post was, “I noticed it matched his tool box.” So MOM.
    Yep, know the joke. Oldie but goodie.

    • If it makes you feel any better I can rarely find one either. They seem to run off with my scissors frequently.
      Well, it’s true both the tool box and tape measure are fire engine red.

  5. Good looking tape measure. Beats my 1 & only. Will need to inspect Milwaukee the next time I am there. Happy measuring!

  6. My late dad, bless his heart, LOVED tools. Of all sizes, shapes, and uses. Sadly, he barely knew which end of a screwdriver was the working end! Still, every chance he got, he was in the tool section of a store, picking them up, turning them over, and often, buying them. At least Cole knows WHY he’s buying a new tape measure. Be glad he’s handy with tools, Kb — probably saves you lots of money in the long run!

    • Your dad affection for tools is pretty cute. It’s a shame he couldn’t put them to use but still they were collectables for him.
      Cole is handy but like most men he never has the “right tool.” and just yesterday asked if he could build a tool bench in his room with his a miter saw? Can we say sawdust?? Everywhere. This time the answer is a firm no. Garage is plenty big enough.

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